Author

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.

GOP candidate for governor, physician Scott Jensen speaking with anti-vaccine group founded by doctor charged in Jan. 6 Capitol attack

By: - July 20, 2021

GOP candidate for governor Scott Jensen is slated to participate in a virtual event with a group that strongly questions COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness and was founded by a doctor arrested for storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Simone Gold, a physician who founded America’s Frontline Doctors, tweeted on Monday that Jensen is […]

Walz restricts gay conversion therapy, overriding Republican objections

By: - July 15, 2021

During a ceremonial signing on Thursday morning, DFL Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order that will restrict so-called “conversion therapy” for minors, bypassing lawmakers in the GOP-led Senate who have blocked legislation to end the practice.  The order comes ahead of the delayed 2021 Pride weekend celebration,  making Minnesota the latest state to restrict […]

Walz names three agency heads to working group on frontline worker pay; one spot left

By: - July 14, 2021

Long-term caregivers and other essential workers who kept Minnesota running through the pandemic are set to receive $250 million in back pay for the risks they took over the past year.  This week, Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders announced eight people of a nine-person working group that will determine how much money long-term care […]

Minneapolis mayor did not have city interns work on campaign

By: - July 13, 2021

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey did not have city interns work on his reelection campaign, a potential campaign finance violation, his campaign manager said on Tuesday following accusations that Frey was misusing city resources.  The allegations surfaced on Twitter on Friday after some Minneapolis DFL caucus attendees received text messages from people identifying themselves as interns […]

St. Paul lawmaker faces potential ethics violation over remark during debate, residency questions abound

By: - July 12, 2021

State Rep. John Thompson, DFL-St. Paul, is facing questions about his residency after a July Fourth traffic stop that revealed he holds a Wisconsin drivers license. Now, he faces a potential ethics violation in the House. State Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, filed an ethics complaint against the embattled first-term lawmaker alleging Thompson violated House rules, […]

Minnesota to receive $50 million in Purdue Pharma settlement

By: - July 8, 2021

Minnesota will receive more than $50 million from a 15-state settlement agreement from Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxycontin, which contributed to an opioid death crisis that has killed more than 500,000 Americans.  If approved, the settlement would total $4.5 billion and require Purdue to release millions of pages of documents that stretch back decades, […]

Senate adjourns special session without additional confirmation votes on Walz appointments

By: - July 7, 2021

After contentious debate over outstanding commissioner nominations, the Minnesota Senate adjourned the special legislative session on Wednesday, jettisoning plans to confirm two of Gov. Tim Walz’s appointees.  Two confirmation votes were slated for Wednesday, but debate started off on a testy note after Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, made her third motion since Friday […]

Pollution control commissioner resigns ahead of confirmation vote in Minnesota Senate

By: and - July 6, 2021

Minnesota’s top pollution regulator resigned her post on Tuesday, preempting a Senate confirmation vote on her nomination after Republicans signaled they would fire her over differences in environmental policies. Laura Bishop, who served as commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the past two and a half years, had been a top Senate target […]

Legislative score card: Who won and who lost in $52 billion state budget

By: - July 6, 2021

After months of wrangling, many missed deadlines and partisan gridlock, DFL Gov. Tim Walz signed into law a new $52 billion budget on Wednesday just hours before parts of the state government were set to shut down.  Walz held a ceremonial bill signing in the Governor’s Reception Room, the first public event in the ornately […]

Senate GOP will hold confirmation hearings on Walz commissioners as special session continues indefinitely

By: - July 2, 2021

Senate Republicans on Friday said they planned to review outstanding commissioner appointments next week, potentially moving to oust one or more members of DFL Gov. Tim Walz’s cabinet.  State Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, told her colleagues of the plan during a brief floor session. Unlike the DFL-led Minnesota House, the Senate did not adjourn […]

Sitting lawmakers will no longer be able to work as lobbyists as new law takes aim at GOP leader

By: - July 1, 2021

Sitting lawmakers will no longer be able to work as lobbyists, after a Republican amendment taking aim at House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, was adopted nearly unanimously in the House and later approved by the Senate as part of a broader tax bill.  Offered by state Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, the measure will outlaw […]

Lawmakers give final approval to $52 billion budget, averting state government shutdown

By: - June 30, 2021

Minnesota lawmakers at last completed a new $52 billion two-year budget on Wednesday with just hours to spare before parts of state government were set to temporarily shutter amid ideological differences in the divided Legislature.  DFL Gov. Tim Walz wasted no time, quickly signing the remaining budget bills, including a nearly $21 billion education bill, […]